Customer support folks are empathetic, patient, problem solvers, excellent communicators, creative thinkers, troubleshooting masters, customer advocates, and anything else they need to be to help their customers have a stellar experience.
Basically, they're incredible humans doing work that's highly valuable—without question or qualifier.
This isn't work that just anyone with a high school diploma, an internet connection, and the ability to string words together into sentences can do.
It takes more than a high school diploma... To go beyond answering the original question and proactively prevent a customer from running into another issue.
It takes more than an internet connection... To break down complex concepts into easy-to-understand ideas that make customers feel smart and capable, instead of talked down to or small.
It takes more than knowing how to write complete sentences... To lead with empathy, advocate for policy changes that better serve customers, and constantly be on the lookout for ways to improve support resources.
Customer support pros who care take it personally when customers are frustrated or upset, even though it's not their fault. They take on unhappy customers and show them that someone is listening, someone is taking them seriously, and at least one person in the world will stick with them until they figure things out.
And they do that while managing 28 other customer requests, following up with the dev team on an urgent bug report, and handling communications about a server that went down and is impacting hundreds of other customers.
It's incredibly challenging work. It's also incredibly rewarding.
Or at least it should be.
Sure, the happy dopamine hits come free with each ecstatic customer offering you their grandma's secret chocolate chip and walnut cookies recipe.
But after a while, they get harder to enjoy when you've got a boss that doesn't even register the true value of great customer service. When you haven't gotten a real raise in years and your salary was already pitifully low to start. When you work at a company with toxic people and toxic air that uninvitedly smothers you when you're just trying to Netflix and chill with your family at home.
So you decide enough is enough.
I'm not going to settle for a job I hate anymore...
You know what's the worst?
When you decide, "Alright, I'm gonna do it. I'm going to go after a remote job and change everything. Let's do this!!"
You take your burst of motivation and try so hard to land a remote support job—but then you’re met with months of silent rejection from companies (argh!), and you have no idea what you might be doing wrong, and you start to think that you’re going to be stuck in your crapfest job forever, leaving you totally hopeless.
What are you supposed to do?
It doesn’t matter that you’ve tweaked your resume exactly 267.3 times! And read every blog post on landing a remote job that exists on the interwebs! And spent all your free time applying for any job that vaguely fits what you want! (Though we won’t speak of the call center job you almost applied to in the hopes of getting just one effin' response already.)
Alas, the dirty, low-down truth is this: Most job search and career advice websites exist to help as many people as they can.
There's nothing wrong with that. It's great that they want to help job seekers.
But if you're following the served-to-the-masses job hunting advice that exists online, you're going to end up in that post-apocalyptic world of silent rejection where "Who Let the Dogs Out" plays on repeat and the zombies are unexplainably fast 😬
While those sites are trying to be helpful, they don't consider that…
Awesome remote companies don't hire like everyone else.
The remote companies that are intentionally creating humanized work environments actually care about the individual they are hiring. They want to know more about you than simply whether you’ve spent 2-3 years in customer support roles.
Awesome remote companies want to hire someone who will thrive and add value, not only to the role but to their company and their culture.
To find people like that, they can’t hire like most companies do. So they do things differently.
Which means you need to do things differently, too.
This is exactly why I created Break Into Remote.
Because I want you to avoid sludging through piles of trial and error and just tell you what actually matters for landing the awesome remote job you deserve.
Break Into Remote exists to help customer support folks land awesome remote jobs so the reward finally matches your incredible value.
This is about finding a remote job that will give you the flexibility to enjoy your life—a thousand times more.
More midday walks with your dog (or cat if you're feeling adventurous)...
Not a job where every minute is accounted for to "ensure you're doing your job," and you daydream about your manager walking into a manhole.
More mornings spent listening to your kiddos unapologetically talk over each other...
Not a job that pays hourly and has no benefits, so you barely notice their chatter over your own worried thoughts about how you'll pay for their next doctor's appointment.
More time (sort of) recreating the decadent creations from The Great British Bake Off...
Not a job that leaves you so frustrated and drained that you can barely even watch a whole episode of GBBO without defeated thoughts distracting you.
This isn’t about landing just any remote job.
It's about finding a remote job at a company with more opportunities for growth, more money and benefits, and a culture that appreciates the value of the work you do while treating you like a human that deserves respect (because you do).
(If you happen to not be human, then email me immediately. Two questions: How long have you been sentient, and how can I help you destroy all the Pinkberrys? I assume that's your mission because frozen yogurt is "the celery of desserts." h/t Ron Swanson.)
The Last-Slice-of-Still-Hot-Pizza Amazing News 🔥
(1) You don’t have to awkwardly beg strangers on LinkedIn to get an in at the company you want to work for; (2) You don’t need to have previous remote experience or a fancy company name on your resume in order to compete.
So what does matter?
Showing that what you want aligns with what a company wants and can offer is your no-cost, little effort way of dramatically changing your outcome. The alignment you show—or fail to show—in your applications can determinewhether or not a hiring manager will decide to consider you for the role...or pass you over.
Because here's the thing.
The little secret no one talks about...
Hiring managers want you to be the answer to their prayers, hopes, and water-fountain-coin wishes!
They don't want to spend their time reviewing hundreds of applications with the same plain-vanilla cliches they've seen thousands of times (literally thousands if they've been hiring for even a year).
What they want is to say, "Finally! 🙌🏽 Where have you been all my life!" (Or, at least for the last 3 months they've been trying to find you).
So that’s why I’ve created Stack Up the Interviews. I want to share everything that I know about what hiring managers are looking for with detailed, easy-to-follow steps. The concept here is simple: I want to make it as easy as possible for you to land your dream job and change your life.
That means making it stupid simple for you to show the alignment.
Alignment will lead the way.
Hey 👋 I’m Odalis, and I'm the proud creator of Break Into Remote.
Naturally, it all started with me staring at my screen in total (annoying) confusion after 20 minutes of trying to figure out a customer's issue.
What the what was going on with their form? Why wasn't it submitting?!?
I was ready to message my team for some help when I heard it.
A loud, shrieking sound.
And it was definitely coming from inside the house...
Even after three years, it's not any less contagious.
Those adorable giggles just suck you right in. And it's hard to be annoyed with tricky form issues (or customers who expect you to troubleshoot issues they are having with a different company) when you've got all this cute happiness filling your space.
In that moment, I felt incredibly lucky to get so much time with my little guy and the taller guy who fathered him. I knew to thank working remotely for that precious moment.
Then I noticed that I had 5 minutes before I needed to hop on a group hangout to interview someone 😮 I made a mad dash to refill my water bottle before heading back to my desk. The group interview was bumping along as usual when the interviewee got into a story about what it was like working at her current company (another fully remote company like ours).
Two years later, I'm still horrified by this conversation.
She mentioned that she was only allowed two 15 minutes breaks per day and 30 minutes to eat lunch. However, she was so slammed with work that she used that break time to get more work done. If she needed to take time off for anything during the week, she had to take either a whole day or a half-day and had to use some of her PTO for it. She was not-so-lovingly encouraged to get customers off the phone as quickly as possible which meant she dealt with fewer happy customers and eventually started questioning her ability to do quality work.
I. was. furious.
I know that some companies treat their employees like replaceable trash bags they're forced to deal with but barely tolerate. That's why I had so carefully chosen the company that I worked for. But I particularly f*cking loathe the way that people in customer service jobs are treated. (Resist the rant. Resist the rant. Resist the rant.)
Still, the worst part was yet to come.
You see after the interview, we discussed how things went and whether or not we should move on with her to the next step of the hiring process. While on the inside my heart was crushed for her, she didn't meet several of the requirements for the role and we had to pass on her.
I felt ashamed.
There I was with a job to offer and a person who was trying to escape a truly disgusting workplace, and I couldn't offer her the job. I still had a responsibility to my team to get them the best teammate I could and I couldn't make that decision based on who worked at the worst company (sadly, there are too many others working at similar places).
But in that moment, I was done with seeing this pattern continue.
I had interviewed so many people for support roles on my team and so many of them had similar stories.
There had to be something I could do to help. I knew there were plenty of remote job boards out there, so I reviewed over 40 of them to find the best ones for people looking for customer support jobs at awesome companies. And I started sending people to those boards.
That's when I started getting more questions.
I keep applying for these jobs, but I'm not getting any interviews. What am I doing wrong?
Can you review my resume/cover letter/application to give me any pointers for improving them?
Do you have any advice for applying to these jobs? I can't see to get them to notice me.
I knew from having reviewed thousands of applications that most applicants were making a lot of mistakes when applying for roles at our company. I reached out to hiring managers at other remote companies like ours and they were seeing the same mistakes with their applicants.
So I realized, that finding great jobs to apply to is only part of the problem. Customer support folks also needed better guidance about how to apply to these kinds of companies, because remote companies that actually care about the people they add to their team don't hire like everyone else.
Enter: Break Into Remote.
If you're in customer support and want a serious upgrade in the company you work for...
I’m personally inviting you to check out "Double Your Interviews", where I’ll walk you through the 5 mistakes you need to avoid at all costs and the 2 things you absolutely must do to get more interviews at awesome remote companies—without having to create your own company that you then hire yourself to work for.